1948 – Ted Nugent( the motor city madman) is born in Detroit on this day in rock history! We salute you, but you better check that crotch itch.
Theodore “Ted” Nugent (born December 13, 1948) (a.k.a. The Nuge) is an American hard rock guitarist and vocalist from Detroit, Michigan. He originally gained fame as the lead guitarist of The Amboy Dukes. He is noted for his conservative political views and his vocal pro-hunting, pro-conservation, and Second Amendment activism.
To date, Nugent has released more than 31 albums, which have sold more than 20 million copies. He was known throughout his early career in the ’70s for using Fender amps, a large part of his signature sound, and is now also famous for playing the semi-hollow Gibson Byrdland. Gibson Guitar Corporation has developed a model named for him.
Ted Nugent live in 2007
Performing professionally since 1958, Nugent has been touring annually since 1967, averaging more than 300 shows per year (1967–73), 200 per year (1974–80), 150 (1981–89), 127 concerts in 1990, 162 concerts in 1991, 150 concerts in 1993, 180 in 1994, 166 in 1995, 81 in 1996, Summer Blitz ’97, ’98, Rock Never Stops ’99, 133 concerts with KISS 2K. Nugent’s 2005 plans involved a tour with country music singer-songwriter Toby Keith, whom Nugent met in Iraq while they were both performing in USO-sponsored shows for the coalition troops. On July 4, 2008 at the DTE Energy Music Theater in Clarkston, Michigan (right outside of Detroit), Ted Nugent played his 6,000th concert.
His first iteration of The Amboy Dukes played at The Cellar, a teen dance club outside of Chicago in Arlington Heights, Illinois, starting in late 1965. The Cellar’s “house band” at the time had been the Shadows of Knight, although the Amboy Dukes eventually became a staple until the club’s closing..
The Amboy Dukes’ second single was “Journey to the Center of the Mind”, which Nugent, an ardent anti-drug campaigner, claims to this day he did not realize was about drug use. The Amboy Dukes (1967), Journey to the Center of the Mind (1968) and Migration (1969) — all recorded on the Mainstream label — sold moderately well.
After settling down on a ranch in Michigan, in 1973 he signed a record deal with Frank Zappa’s record label DiscReet Records and recorded Call of the Wild. The following year, Tooth Fang & Claw (which contained the song “Great White Buffalo”), established a fan base for Nugent and the other Amboy Dukes. Personnel changes nearly wrecked the band, which became known as Ted Nugent & the Amboy Dukes.
Nugent dropped the band name and signed to Epic Records in 1975, with Derek St. Holmes (guitar, vocals), Rob Grange (bass), and Clifford Davies (drums). This workforce was the backing band for many of his classic 1970s albums. Nugent’s solo career was most successful when he released hits such as “Cat Scratch Fever” and “Stranglehold.” This band toured extensively until its breakup in 1978 when St. Holmes and Grange departed. St. Holmes was replaced by Charlie Huhn and Grange by Dave Kiswiney. Davies finally left around 1982.
During this era, Nugent was notable for his frequent declarations that he did not drink alcoholic beverages or smoke tobacco or marijuana. In an interview for VH1’s Behind The Music, Nugent stated the reason behind this was due to his father having sternly reprimanded him when he came home smelling of alcohol after a night of drinking. This was an unusual stance for a major rock performer of the ’70s, and Nugent has been cited as an important early influence on the straight edge movement that similarly disavows drinking and recreational drug use.
During the 1980s, Nugent released a series of albums. Near the end of the decade, Nugent formed the supergroup Damn Yankees, with Jack Blades (bass, vocals, formerly of Night Ranger), Tommy Shaw (guitar, vocals, formerly of Styx) and Michael Cartellone (drums). Damn Yankees (1990) was a hit, selling 5 million albums, thanks in no small part to the smash-hit power ballad High Enough, the video for which featured Nugent in a priest’s collar and later in a zebra-striped cape during the guitar solo. It also saw the first appearance of the famous ‘WhackMaster’ hat.
Back to solo
Returning to a solo career, Nugent released Spirit of the Wild, his best-reviewed album in quite some time. A series of archival releases came out in the 1990s, keeping Nugent’s name in the national consciousness. He also began hosting a radio show in Detroit and owns several hunting-related businesses. He also created several TV shows for several networks; Wanted: Ted or Alive on Versus, Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild on The Outdoor Channel and Surviving Nugent on VH1.
Ted Nugent appears on David Crowder Band’s 2007 release, Remedy, playing guitar on the song “We Won’t Be Quiet”.
Ted Nugent was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He attended Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights, Illinois
His second marriage was to Shemane Deziel, whom he met during one of his guest morning personality gigs on Detroit’s WLLZ-FM, where she was a member of the news staff. They married on January 21, 1989.
It was thought that Nugent had four children, two daughters – Starr and Sasha, and two sons – Toby and Rocco; but the following quote from an interview tells differently:
“ “You have four children – the two from your first marriage, Rocco, and a child by a teenage girlfriend…”
“Who was given out for adoption.”
“It’s five, actually. I had a child out of wedlock 10 years ago. I suggest you include that, to show what a prick I am. Here I am, railing against people who do drugs, and I did something like that.”
In the late 1990s, Nugent began writing for various magazines. He has written for more than 20 publications and is the author of New York Times Best Seller God, Guns and Rock ‘n’ Roll (July 2000), Kill It and Grill It (2002) (co-authored with his wife, Shemane), BloodTrails II: The Truth About Bowhunting (2004), and “Ted, White and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto” (2008).
In 1996 Ted joined the WWBR-FM air staff. The Ted Nugent Morning Show on 102.7 FM in Detroit was an instant success. Ted and his co-host Steve Black (now host of the syndicated radio show Chop Shop and Chop Shop Classic)often shocked the motor city with their opinions, and Ted’s unique method of delivering his ideas.
In May 2005, Nugent said he was “getting real close to deciding to run” for governor of Michigan. On August 4, 2005, CNN reported that Nugent had withdrawn from the race for 2006 but was keeping his options open for 2010. Nugent also was rumoured to be under consideration by the Illinois Republican Party as its candidate in that state’s 2004 Senate race.
Nugent also suffers from hearing loss. A November 2005 Rolling Stone article noted Nugent, among others, has publicly acknowledged hearing problems.
Since the early 1990s Nugent has become both popular and criticized for his conservative beliefs and his anti-drug and anti-alcohol stances. He is a national spokesman for the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program, advocating the “natural highs” to be found in an outdoor lifestyle.
He has hosted the Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids, which combines a curriculum of hands-on hunting, conservation, archery and a strong anti-drug message aimed mainly at underprivileged inner-city children. Nugent also is a spokesman for the National Field Archery Association, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
An advocate of hunting and gun-ownership rights, Nugent currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association (NRA).
The urban legends Web site snopes.com has said of Nugent, “He is not one to be shy about sharing his take on things with the media, and interviews with him make for highly entertaining reading.”
Criticism and animal rights
Nugent and the animal rights movement have long had an adversarial relationship. In 2000, Bhaskar Sinha was jailed briefly following an incident with Nugent outside a department store in San Francisco in which he allegedly threatened and physically assaulted Nugent, who in turn took Sinha into custody until San Francisco Police arrived and arrested the protester.
Nugent has reported receiving death threats against him and his family from animal rights activists. On the Penn & Teller’s Bullshit! episode about People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Nugent claimed, “We’ve got reports and files with law enforcement across America where animal rights extremists are on record threatening to kill my children on the way to school because we eat pheasant.” In 2006 he stated in an interview that “anyone who thinks hunting is terrible can kiss my ass.”
In a 1992 radio interview, Nugent referred to Heidi Prescott of the Fund for Animals as a “worthless whore” and a “shallow slut,” asking “who needs to club a seal, when you can club Heidi?” and was ordered by a court to pay $75,000.
Nugent owns a hunting ranch near Jackson, Michigan, called Sunrize Acres. Anti-hunters claim this fenced facility offers “canned” hunts. Nugent has said, “I understand the criticism from those who say canned hunting violates the ethic of fair chase,” though he still operates the facility. Nugent was recently interviewed by Field & Stream magazine regarding “canned” hunts.
Nugent’s views translate to his politics, and according to an interview in The Independent he “considers homosexuality morally wrong” and is an outspoken supporter of the Republican Party and the United States military. As a reward for entertaining U.S. troops in Iraq in 2004, he visited Saddam Hussein’s war room. “It was a glorious moment. It looked like something out of Star Wars. I saw his gold toilet. I shit in his bidet.”
Nugent lives near President George W. Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, and said he caught Bush’s attention at his private inauguration party in 2000. “When he noticed me, he was surrounded by these huge bankrollers from his campaign. He literally swept past all of them and said, ‘Laura! Look who’s here! It’s Ted!’ Then he hugged me and took me by the shoulders. He said, ‘Just keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t think that we don’t know what you’re up to out here. Stay on course.'”
In 2007, Nugent voiced his opposition to Democratic Party presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. At an Anaheim, California concert on August 21, 2007, Nugent’s description of trips to New York and Chicago, and the conversations he purported to have with the senators are in keeping with his trademark views, as Nugent went on to describe similar incidents and invitations to “suck on his machine gun” with other prominent Democrats, such as Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein.
Despite giving previous support for Republican candidates, He supported John McCain during the 2008 Republican Party primaries, later saying that “John would bring about an enormous upgrade for quality of life in America overall” .
An interviewer from the British newspaper The Independent questioned Nugent about a 1977 interview in High Times magazine in which Nugent allegedly detailed elaborate steps taken to avoid the Vietnam draft.
“I got 30 days’ notice of the physical,” Nugent told them. “I ceased cleansing my body. Two weeks before the test I stopped eating food with nutritional value. A week before, I stopped going to the bathroom. I did it in my pants. My pants got crusted up.”
Nugent dismissed the veracity of these statements, saying “You’ve got to realize that these interviewers would arrive with glazed eyes and I would make stories up.” He explained that he did not go to Vietnam because he had a 1 year student deferment. When questioned, he admitted that he had “not wanted to get his ass blown off in Vietnam,” but made note of a tour he made with the USO in 2004 to Fallujah and Afghanistan as support of his assertion that “I am not a coward.” He also said that “Because I failed to serve in Vietnam, I feel an obligation now, to do everything I can to support those defending our freedom. Do I feel guilt and embarrassment? Yes.”
Television and video
Ted Nugent also starred in his own outdoors television show named after his popular song “Spirit of the Wild”. The song was the theme music to the TV series in which Nugent took viewers on a variety of wild game hunts using his bow. In the series he teaches and advices hunters and “hands-on” conservationists around the world on the different aspects of hunting and politics, and informs the public on the importance of getting children away from the TV and video games and getting them out beyond the pavement in order to better their lives.
Attracting attention for his outspoken statements on issues ranging from guns to biodiversity, Nugent has been a regular guest on such programs as Larry King Live, The Howard Stern Show, and Politically Incorrect.
On July 8, 1979 Ted was on the King Biscuit Flower Hour. This was the original broadcast of Ted’s performance of Live at Hammersmith ’79 which had been recorded during the second set of a sold-out night at London’s Hammersmith Odeon in 1979 and not released until 1997.
In 1986, he guest starred in an episode of the hit television show Miami Vice entitled “Definitely Miami.” Nugent played a villain. His song “Angry Young Man” was featured in the episode. His song “Little Miss Dangerous” was also featured on a Miami Vice episode of the same name, although he did not appear in the episode.
In 1990 he guest starred in the Canadian film Heavy Metal Summer. It was shown on cable channels in the US as State Park.
In 2001, Nugent appeared as himself in a third season episode of That ’70s Show entitled “Backstage Pass.” Donna Pinciotti (Laura Prepon), who works for radio station WFPP, obtains tickets to the upcoming Ted Nugent concert for the entire gang. Following the concert, her boss Max (Howard Hesseman) gives Donna a backstage pass to meet Nugent, where he volunteers to sit for an interview. Meanwhile, Stephen Hyde (Danny Masterson) and Fez (Wilmer Valderama) try to sell t-shirts accidentally spelled Tad Nugent.
In 2003, he was host of the VH1 reality television program called Surviving Nugent in which city dwellers such as model Tila Tequila moved to Nugent’s Michigan ranch in order to survive such “backwoods” activities as building an outhouse and skinning a boar. The success of the two-hour show spawned a four-part miniseries in 2004 entitled Surviving Nugent: The Ted Commandments. This time it was filmed on Nugent’s ranch in China Spring, Texas. During filming, Nugent injured himself with a chainsaw, requiring 44 stitches and a leg brace.
In 2004, Nugent was a guest on the VH1 program Forever Wild, hosted by Sebastian Bach (former lead vocalist for the band Skid Row). They shot some firearms and walked around Nugent’s cabin in the woods.
Also that year, Ted Nugent made a guest appearance on the cult television series Aqua Teen Hunger Force, in the episode “Gee Whiz,” on Adult Swim. Locals believe to have seen the face of Jesus in a billboard, and they mention how He looks like Ted Nugent. Throughout the episode they think it’s Jesus’ face, but at the end they discover it was in fact Nugent’s. He proceeds to shoot a flaming explosive arrow at Carl (mistaking him for a “varmint”).
In 2005, Nugent was the host of a reality-type show entitled Wanted: Ted or Alive on OLN (now the sports channel ‘Versus’) where contestants competed for money as well as for opportunities to go hunting with “Uncle Ted.” The contestants had to kill and clean their own food to survive.
In 2006, he appeared on VH1’s reality show SuperGroup, with Scott Ian (Anthrax, guitar), Evan Seinfeld (Biohazard, bass), Sebastian Bach (ex-Skid Row, vocals) and Jason Bonham (Bonham, UFO, Foreigner, drums). The name of the supergroup was originally FIST but later was changed to Damnocracy. Bach had lobbied for the name Savage Animal. Captured on film by VH1 was a rare Nugent duo with guitar phenom Joe Bonamassa at the Sand Dollar Blues Room for a 45 minute blues jam.
In 2007, Ted Nugent appeared alongside other celebrities, and non-celebrities, in the music video for Nickelback’s Rockstar.
On March 13, 2007, Nugent was interviewed on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live and performed the songs “Cat Scratch Fever” and “Rawdogs and Warhogs.”
In 2007, Ted debated The Simpsons producer Sam Simon on the Howard Stern Show about the ethics of hunting animals. Coincidentally, he would later lend his voice to an over-the-phone appearance in the season 19 episode of The Simpsons, “I Don’t Wanna Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, where, in a humorous jab at his political stance, inmate Dwight picks up his call for voting no to the fictional Proposition 87, which bans crossbows in public schools.
In 2008, Nugent appeared in a fifth season episode of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.
Nugent was featured in MTV’s “Cribs: Gods of Rock” episode.
Chevy Chase in the 1985 film Fletch uses Ted Nugent as his identity when asked to kill Alan Stanwyk (Tim Matheson).
In the TV show Supernatural, the eldest of the two brothers, Dean Winchester uses Ted Nugent as one of his many false identities, he being a big fan of the singer and his music.
In the video game Gears of War, the achievement The Nuge is named after Ted Nugent.
In the video game Guitar Hero World Tour, Ted Nugent is a playable character in the game. He also recorded an original guitar duel exclusively for the game.
Main article: Ted Nugent discography
* Nugent, Ted. Blood Trails: The Truth About Bowhunting Ted Nugent (1991) ISBN B0006ORP2G (146 pages)
* Nugent, Ted. God, Guns & Rock and Roll. Regnery Publishing, Inc. (August 21, 2000) ISBN 0-89526-173-1 (316 pages)
* Nugent, Ted. Blood Trails II: The Truth About Bowhunting. Woods N’ Water Inc. (November 12, 2004) ISBN 0-9722804-7-2 (256 pages)
* Nugent, Ted and Nugent, Shemane. Kill It & Grill It: A Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish. Regnery Publishing, Inc. (June, 25, 2005) ISBN 0-89526-164-2 (250 pages)
* Nugent, Ted. Ted White and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto . Regnery Publishing Inc. (November 12, 2008) ISBN-13: 9781596985551 (256 pages)